Gorilla glue is excellent to use on small repair projects around the house.
It sticks to everything and is strong enough to keep metal, wood, or glass bonded together.
Sadly, gorilla glue is also strong enough to stick to your hands, and when it does, removing it can seem like a painful prognosis.
Luckily, we’ve done the research, and learning how to clean gorilla glue off your hands is easy and pain-free, especially if you act quickly.
All you need are a few everyday household items and some quick reflexes to clean gorilla glue off your hands and leave it on your repair project.
What You’ll Need
You’ll need a few everyday household items to clean gorilla glue off your hands.
- Cleaning cloth or paper towels
- Gritty exfoliator or pumice stone
Now that you’ve assembled the materials you will need, read on to learn step-by-step instructions on how to clean gorilla glue off your hands.
1. Wipe As Much Of The Glue Off As Possible
Gorilla glue is easiest to remove if you catch it before it dries.
The first thing you should do is attempt to wipe it off with a cleaning cloth or a paper towel.
If you do this while the glue is still wet, you should be able to remove a sizable amount from your hand.
That means you will need to move quickly as soon as you realize you have super glue on your hands.
Removing as much glue as possible limits the amount of glue you will have to clean off during the following steps, making the entire process less overwhelming.
2. Wash The Affected Area With Water And Soap
After you have removed as much of the gorilla glue as possible with a paper towel, wash your hands in cool water and soap.
You can use any soap; both dish soap and hand soap will work.
The soap helps to break down the bonds that hold the glue together.
It will not remove the glue entirely, but it starts the process of removing the glue from your skin.
Pro tip: Some experts recommend using warm water when washing your hands because the warm water can also help to soften the glue. While you can also use warm water, we do not recommend hot water. The hot water could scald your hands, damaging the skin and giving the glue a more tender area to attach.
3. Apply A Gritty Exfoliator To The Affected Area
Once you have washed your hands with soap and water, gently apply a gritty exfoliator to the affected area.
This application could be a sugar scrub or a salt scrub.
Rub your exfoliator on the affected area, allowing the rough crystals to remove the glue and any damaged skin.
Do not rub roughly, or you will hurt yourself.
Instead, rub gently.
You may find that you need to wash your hands with more soap and water and then apply more exfoliator before the glue is completely gone.
Pro tip: If you do not have a sugar or salt scrub at home, you can make one by combining sea salt and any solid oil you have at home. While it might not taste great, it will get the job done. If you do not have a solid oil in the house, you can also use a pumice stone. If you choose to go this route, we recommend the Maryton Foot Pumice Stone found on Amazon. If you choose to use a pumice stone, though, we advise that you rub the affected area very gently. It is easy to over-scrub and further damage your skin.
4. Apply Lotion To The Affected Area
Once the glue is completely removed, apply lotion to the affected area.
The lotion will help restore the natural moisture and encourage any necessary healing from direct contact with gorilla glue.
If you find some glue remaining, you can repeat steps two through four.
Here is a video discussing how to remove gorilla glue from your hands.
- 0:21—If the glue is still tacky, use a cloth or paper towel to wipe off as much as possible.
- 0:28—Wash your hands with cool water and soap.
- 0:33—Use a gritty exfoliator on the affected area.
- 0:37—Dry your hands and apply lotion.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I prevent gorilla glue from sticking to my hands?
The easiest way to prevent gorilla glue from sticking to your hands is to wear gloves while working with it.
If any glue does spill, you can throw the gloves away without worrying about damage to your skin.
Can I use alcohol or acetone to remove gorilla glue?
Although some people recommend soaking the affected area in rubbing alcohol or acetone, we do not recommend this.
Although many have achieved positive results while using acetone or rubbing alcohol to remove super glue from their skin, it strips the natural oils from your skin.
Doing this can not only dry out your hands, but it can also cause the skin to tear.
Both situations can make the superglue more likely to adhere to your hands.
Is there anything special I can do if the gorilla glue has already hardened?
If the glue has already been set and the above steps do not significantly remove it, you can also try citrus.
Citric acid breaks down the bonds in superglue, which will help you remove it from your hand.
Squeeze some lemon juice into a bowl.
Then, rub the affected area with the juice.
If you have any open scrapes on your hand, this will sting, but you should also notice the glue begin to loosen.
If it does not break away completely, you can apply the lemon juice again.
Once the gorilla glue is completely gone, wash your hands with soap and water to remove any lingering traces of juice or super glue.
If you do not have any lemons or lemon juice, you can use any other form of citrus.
Although grapefruits and limes are effective, they are not as good as lemon juice for removing gorilla glue from your hands.